The idea for this post sprouted in my mind during my return train journey from home in December. As usual, Amma had packed her routine Pothichoru for us. Taking account of Sandettan’s addition to my life, the amount of food had quadrupled. Thatz Amma’s style!

It is not the first time that I had carried Amma’s Pothichoru. I have vivid memories of the rice stuffed in that plantain leaf, of the melting taste of omelette, the tanginess of the ginger-tamarind chutney and the chicken or fish pieces of gastronomical delight (Sorry for killing English language!).

This unassuming green pouch has made way into the travel bags of all our relatives who have left our home on a train travel; it has joined my relatives travelling from Kayamkulam to Bhilai and Delhi at the Ernakulam Junction railway station. The wonderful meal contained inside never had the Paneer Butter Masala or Chettinad Chicken to boast about, it never had a glossy aluminium foil cover, it never had boxes to hold the side dishes. It almost always had the same menu of rice, egg omelette, ginger tamarind chammandi, and a piece or two of fish, chicken or a thoran, it always had the dull green plantain leaf holding it, and side dishes wrapped in smaller plantain leaves.

But the love and care with which it was prepared made this meal heavenly. The feelings that cooked into the meal translated to the wonderful taste which became a trademark. It bonded our people to Achan and Amma. It taught me all about being there for our relatives. It spoke and taught volumes about the family ties and family values. In this fast world, it taught me the simple joy of cooking a good meal, serving and sharing. And in the succeeding days and years, brought name and fame to Mani Chechi’s Pothichoru.

Sometime in between I felt a little hesitancy in carrying that traditional plantain pouch on my train journeys. But then, the moment I open that pouch, the smell that emanated out would engulf my thoughts and bring back that familiar longing for home. The unsophisticated ordinary little Pothichoru forever brings before my eyes innocent and unassuming affection. How fragile are external appearances – an old newspaper sheet covering a plantain leaf? The value is within coz that humble abode lodges the radiance of love, care and warmth.


naan 2:56 am  

Now you shouldn't have written that.. Aiyoo.. I miss amma's food sooo much.. I want to eat amma's food now !!

Hmm.. surviving on baked beans and green salad isn't really an good prospect you see..

btw good to see you back on your blog.. I was contemplating shift+del of my blog soon...

Maddy 3:57 am  

glad to see you back..

right you are, it is the care & effort taken that gives the pothi its taste....probably you must make a lunch pack for 'sandettan' and he will think likewise??

and the office will remember reshmi's tiffin box?? maybe?


passerby55 7:05 pm  

**The value is within coz that humble abode lodges the radiance of love, care and warmth.

such love, care and warmth are the memories you etch on this wonderful journey called Life!


diyadear 11:59 pm  

it really brought back memories of my train journeys to college n my moms pothi choru for me.. well said..

Maddy 10:49 pm  

hi reshmi,
the tag has been picked up..
check it out

pophabhi 10:07 am  

"How fragile are external appearances". How true!

The way you've picked a small capsule of moments in your life, and unveiled a picture of happiness/care with it is just amazing. Simply loved this simple post!

Anonymous 11:08 am  

nostalgic ..

check mt pothichoru too,


Biby Cletus 5:30 pm  

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog